Heaven Forfend! 'Thomas and Friends' is conservative

Remember when Jerry Falwell took so much heat for suggesting that the Teletubbies were kind of light in the loafers? If you recall, it was actually a media studies lecturer at Sussex University named Andy Medhurst who had said years earlier that, "Tinky Winky is the first queer role model for toddlers."

Well now there's a new scandal in children's TV. This time the culprit is Thomas and Friends. Only this time, the hidden message is much more nefarious than homosexuality. And this time we are not talking baseless accusations, but real scientific research:

Research by the University of Alberta's Augustana Campus contends that children's programming can carry underlying political themes that may surprise parents. After analyzing 23 episodes of Thomas and Friends, a show about a train, his friends and their adventures on a fictional island, political scientist Shauna Wilton was able to identify themes that didn't seem constructive for youngsters.

"While the show conveys a number of positive political values such as tolerance, listening, communicating with others and contributing to the community, it also represents a conservative political ideology that punishes individual initiative, opposes critique and change, and relegates females to supportive roles," said Wilton, an assistant professor in the Department of Social Sciences at Augustana Campus.

Thomas the Train is conservative! Oh, my. That's not "constructive."

I'm not sure where the UN stands on this research, but the science sounds unequivocal to me. Who would dare deny it. We're talking science here.


Remember when Jerry Falwell took so much heat for suggesting that the Teletubbies were kind of light in the loafers? If you recall, it was actually a media studies lecturer at Sussex University named Andy Medhurst who had said years earlier that, "Tinky Winky is the first queer role model for toddlers."

Well now there's a new scandal in children's TV. This time the culprit is Thomas and Friends. Only this time, the hidden message is much more nefarious than homosexuality. And this time we are not talking baseless accusations, but real scientific research:

Research by the University of Alberta's Augustana Campus contends that children's programming can carry underlying political themes that may surprise parents. After analyzing 23 episodes of Thomas and Friends, a show about a train, his friends and their adventures on a fictional island, political scientist Shauna Wilton was able to identify themes that didn't seem constructive for youngsters.

"While the show conveys a number of positive political values such as tolerance, listening, communicating with others and contributing to the community, it also represents a conservative political ideology that punishes individual initiative, opposes critique and change, and relegates females to supportive roles," said Wilton, an assistant professor in the Department of Social Sciences at Augustana Campus.

Thomas the Train is conservative! Oh, my. That's not "constructive."

I'm not sure where the UN stands on this research, but the science sounds unequivocal to me. Who would dare deny it. We're talking science here.


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